Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why TJC is Partnering with The Haiti Collective

The Journey Church recently finished a six month process of praying and fact gathering to discern where the Lord would have our church invest in global missions. It is our mission as a church to be a gospel-centered church that makes knowledgeable, obedient, and passionate followers of Jesus Christ. We focus our effort to this by 1. celebrating the gospel in WORSHIP each week, 2. applying the gospel in COMMUNITY with each other, and 3. extending the gospel through MISSION both locally and globally. That is our focus as a church. So we have been prayerfully seeking God's direction for how to fulfill the global part of this third component of our mission.

In the beginning we believed we were going to adopt an unreached unengaged people group in Europe. We did a lot of research on this. We made a trip to the International Mission Board's conference for European missions. We made contact with missionaries all over Europe. And we prayed for God's direction. At the end of all our exploration, we did not believe the timing was right for TJC to go to Europe. Our church body was not quite ready financially, or with personnel, to have maximum effectiveness in Europe. We still believe there will be a day when we engage in European missions, we just do not sense it is time. 

Why Haiti?
After we looked thoroughly at Europe, we began to set our eyes on a more accessible location for us to invest. We thought about Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti. There were pros and cons to each, but we began to pray about where we could be effective and engage the largest number of people in our congregation in missions. This led us to Haiti, and in particular, The Haiti Collective (hereafter THC).

  (above: the beautiful landscapes of Haiti, below: the stark reality of poverty)

I had been on three previous trips with THC and have seen the amazing work of ministry happening in Haiti. THC focuses on bringing hope to Haiti through the love of Jesus Christ. It is committed to the local church and investing in its leaders and ministries. More specifically, THC seeks partnerships between US churches and Haitian churches. In this partnership, there is pastoral training, orphan care, micro-business, church planting, medical care, adoption, and many other amazing opportunities to serve the Kingdom of God. 

Though this is not global missions to the unreached unengaged, that does not mean this is not a desperately needed and fruitful mission. There are millions of lost people in Haiti and there is a spiritual darkness that exists there because of the presence of Voodoo. In addition to millions of lost people, Haitian churches are filled with believers that do not have the resources afforded to us for discipleship and spiritual growth. The pastors are not theologically educated and can rarely afford the resources to acquire that education. By empowering these local churches and pastors, we are equipping them to reach Haiti with the gospel.

  (above: orphans eating, below: an orphan gets her meal)

Our church has committed to approach local and global missions from a long-term perspective. We do not want to take short-term trips to different places each year. We want to invest in a partnership and relationship that is enduring and lasting. We want to build relationships with those we minister to and with. We want to grow with the leaders and support the orphans. We desire that TJC folks would adopt many of these orphans. THC gives us that opportunity.

Where Are We Investing?

(Port-de-Paix is in northern Haiti)

The Journey Church will be partnering with a church in the city of Port-de-Paix. It has a population of roughly 250,000 people. It is located in the northern part of Haiti on the coast. The church in Port-de-Paix is led by two pastors who work bi-vocationally to lead the church. The church is caring for orphans and providing education, clothing, and food for them. There are so many opportunities for us to partner with this church to extend the gospel.

  (above: clean water filters provided by THC, below: pastor's conference & training)
When Are We Going?

We will be taking a team to Port-De-Paix this summer (2014) on August 8th-16th. We will begin promoting this at church soon and enlisting those interested. We are looking to take a team of 4-6 folks. We will be doing theological training with the pastors, evangelistic services, VBS with the orphan children, with the potential of doing some medical missions if we have the right personnel. The cost of the trip will be roughly $2,000 per person. This pays for airfare, ground transportation, food, water, and lodging. Every needed expense on the trip will be covered by this cost. We will look to do some fundraisers to lower this overall cost for those attending.

(above: Haitian children, below: Sunday worship gathering)

Those interested will need to:

1. sign up and indicate your interest level

2. acquire your passport 

3. attend all required meetings about the trip (first mtg April 18th)

4. $100 deposit due before May 8th
We will share more details at our first meeting about the trip. If this is something you would like to participate in, mark your calendars now, and begin to make preparations to be a part of this incredible ministry. 

If you cannot go on this first trip in August, we are looking to take another trip in January. We can take multiple trips per year, so be sure to prayerfully seek the Lord about how you may participate in this incredible opportunity to extend the gospel globally through MISSION. 

Every person is responsible for participating in global missions. There are only three possible options: you're a sender, you're a goer, or you're disobedient. Which will you be?

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1 comment:

  1. This is exciting! The need there is so great and what a joy it is to be sent by our Lord to this community specifically. It is his heart to rescue the orphan and widow and "the least of these." What a joy it is to be carried by his power and his SENDING! I know it brings HIM such joy for our people to walk by faith into this journey. Lord send us!